Twitter and the other social media behemoths have been getting away with censoring and reducing the visibility of content its speech Nazis don’t like for years now.
Most, as in nearly all, of their efforts have been directed at conservatives and independent media that refuse to toe the corporate line.
But until now at least, few of those censorship actions have had legitimate national security implications.
Twitter crossed that line big time last week when it censored a tweet from Customs and Border Protection director Mark Morgan after he tweeted a story touting the effectiveness of the border wall being built by the Trump Administration along the boundary with Mexico.
“@CBP & @USACEHQ continue to build new wall every day. Every mile helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It’s a fact, walls work,” Morgan tweeted.
In an interview with The Federalist, Morgan said for that statement he was locked out of his account.
“You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease,” Twitter wrote in an email explaining the suspension.
But of course, as the tweet’s language makes clear, there was no threat issued from the director and certainly nothing was said that was based on national origin, race, or any other distinguishing characteristic (except criminality).
“I’m sure somebody on that Twitter team has heard that everyone that illegally enters are just good people looking for a better way of life,” Morgan told the outlet, using some sarcasm. (Related: All employees of Big Tech are hereby designated enemies of America.)
“The American people ultimately don’t get to hear the truth because someone at Twitter, based on their own ideology, pushed a button to prevent the truth from coming out,” he added.
And that’s a huge national security problem, according to a letter Wolf sent to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
“Not only was Twitter’s act of censorship unjustified—the tweet is supported by data—it is disturbing,” wrote Wolf. “As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other Federal agencies continue to rely on Twitter to share important information with the U.S. public, your censorship poses a threat to our security.
“Twitter’s moderators, apparently triggered by the tweet, emailed Mr. Morgan. Whether you know it or not, CBP guards are the front line of the American homeland,” Wolf’s letter noted further.
“CBP repels and arrests thousands of violent criminal gang members each year. CBP rescues young girls who are forced into cross-border sex trafficking. CBP intercepts dangerous drugs and contraband, including enough of the opioid fentanyl to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States several times over,” he said.
“Your company may choose to be ignorant of these facts, but it is no less censorship when you choose to suppress them. Censoring U.S. government officials endangers the national security,” he said as clearly as he can.
“Twitter is sabotaging public discourse regarding important national and homeland security issues. Further, it is clear that Twitter’s gross censorship was intentional, not accidental,” Wolf said, pointing out the obvious but ensuring that he let Dorsey know he’s on to him and his company.
“I call on you to commit to never again censoring content on your platform and obstructing Americans’ unalienable right to communicate with each other and with their government and its officials — including the thousands of law enforcement officers at the DHS who work vigilantly and diligently to protect your safety every day,” Wolf added.
Without question, we don’t support big government control or interference. We believe smaller government is better for all Americans. But these social media platforms became very powerful and very wealthy promising users freedom of expression; resorting to Communist China-style suppression after massing this wealth is a violation of that agreement. Something must be done.